Patrick Ames kicks out laid back americana that simply drips with blues infused wooziness.
‘Arm Yourself With This Song’ – the opening track on Oakville Anthology – offers a simple bass beat that serves as a solid foundation for Ames’ proficient yet understated guitar work, while his husky voice dances through the instrumentation. Vocally he has the capacity to shift from smooth notes to cracked emotion with little effort, and as a result becomes somewhat entrancing to the ears. ‘The Current’ gets a little more gnarly, with an electric guitar part that oozes attitude and feels like a nod to the Rolling Stones or Deep Purple. The production creates an atmosphere that really sounds like you are in the room with the music, at an intimate gig in a smoky back hall. Just as with Tom Waits and mid-era Dylan, Patrick Ames doesn’t make songs that grab you by the collar, but rather demand your attention. These songs don’t insult the intelligence of the listener, but they do draw you in to investigate what is going on and pay more attention to detail. Just like moving around an art gallery, it is much more satisfying to pause and reflect rather than hurry right through to the end.
As far as americana goes, Patrick Ames has nailed it to the point where any of these songs could easily find their place on the soundtrack of the next Tarantino film.